Date: Friday, June 22, 2012
Prisoners of War: A German-Canadian Post-war Memory Project
- Chair: Alison Beale
- Senior Supervisor: Zoë Druick
- Supervisor: Kirsten McAllister
- Examiner: Ashok Mathur, Canada Research Chair in Cultural and Artistic Inquiry, Thompson Rivers University
This thesis investigates German-Canadian WWII family legacies as they transform in intergenerational and cross-cultural memory processes. From a memory studies perspective, I examine my family’s archive as a case study, interpreting a series of autobiographical texts describing my grandfather’s captivity in the American Prisoner of War camp at Bad Kreuznach, Germany. In recounting these experiences, my grandfather’s story shared post-war German discourses of guilt, victimization, and survivorship for his Canadian grandchildren. However, through my research I became involved in representing his past from a non-German perspective, complicating our family relationship by requiring the navigation of new roles within it. Analyzing each version of his camp experience, and our identity positions within these retellings, I analyze the interactive process of postmemory creation, employing the concepts of intersubjectivity, performativity, and trauma. It is my contention that this process can serve a therapeutic purpose, helping families comes to terms with traumatic legacies.
Location: Harbour Centre, room 1530
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Posted: Tuesday, May 29th, 2012 @ 1:23 pm
Tags: Enkelliteratur, German-Canadian, memory studies, postmemory, prisoner of war, Rheinwiesenlager.
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